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Mother of Invention

Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple is full once again, as Matthew Barnett takes up her pulpit and two of her passions.

All three levels of the historic coliseum-style sanctuary are packed. Though the beat rocks and video flashes on triple-wide screens, Aimee Semple McPherson would feel right at home in her old venue. The woman who once flew from the second balcony Peter Pan-like would welcome today's visiting stand-up comic. She, who reinterpreted the Medieval morality play as the "illustrated sermon," would like the spoof of family holiday gatherings. And she would like the preacher who is pacing the stage and unpacking a canvas bag of "burdens."

He is her successor, Matthew Barnett, on this day speaking to more than 3,500 people.

Those in the balcony are there on the promise of a free turkey. Over 1,500 were given away to Echo Park neighborhood residents this Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The crowd is lively, set up by the music (the bulletin advises people with sensitive ears to sit under the balcony overhang, the only spot where the volume doesn't reach rock-concert levels), and by the comedian, Cleto ...

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